Fonterra's biggest shareholder, ex-director Colin Armer, says it’s unbelievable the co-op’s directors and management have lost so much money.
That’s a surprise given that cup removers have been available since the 1970s.
“There are huge opportunities for NZ farmers to reduce labour and increase productivity by upgrading to automated cup removers,” says CEO and founder Gustavo Garza.
“Our CR-1 cup removers have features to make milking shed life much easier. They can be retro-fitted to existing systems.”
Milktech, formed last year, markets its NZ-designed and manufactured cup removers, plus accessories for herringbone and rotary milking sheds.
Garza and colleagues Jeff Sharp and Alan Morris have expertise in dairy technology design, plastic design and moulding, dairy farming and business development.
The company’s CR-1 electronic cup remover suits one-worker dairies and is robust, simple and reliable. It has a 3-inch stainless steel ram, an illuminated switch and a free-flow sensor. Its electronics are mounted high and safe in the milking plant, clear of moisture and muck.
In operation, a ‘lift and go’ process starts the cycle, and rapid venting at the end of the milking cycle causes a soft pull-down. Speed-adjustable retraction quickly pulls the cluster out of the working area.
The farmer can choose milking parameters controlled by software. The system is wi-fi connected and software upgrades are made in real time, enabling simultaneous adjustment of all units, rather than the typical use of individual control screens for each unit.
In-built diagnostics can alert operators to any issues during the milking cycle.
“There are huge opportunities for NZ operators to reduce labour and increase productivity by upgrading plant to automated cup removers. Our CR-1 removers offer a host of features to make life in the milking shed so much easier and can also be retro-fitted to existing systems as plant fails, usually at much lower cost,” says Garza.
At the end of cycle the CR-1 can trigger teat spraying, bail gate control in rotary sheds and a milk sweep to clear lines. The units have adjustable cluster drop and lift functions, LED status indicators and a manual mode for dealing with cows with blind quarters.
The units are available from dealers NZ-wide.
Export efforts have begun in Australia, Brazil, Argentina and Chile.